About JOG


John O’Gaunt School’s Governors sit on an Academy Committee (AC), whose purpose is to support and advise the Principal and Excalibur Academies Trust’s Board of Trustees in delivering effective welfare, behaviour and extra-curricular provision. In every aspect of its work, ACs look through the lens of the child, asking: “What is it like to attend this school?”, whilst being mindful to avoid adding to the Principal’s workload.

ACs help shape a school’s vision, build links with local community, provide specialist volunteer skills/knowledge and give vital input to statutory processes (for example complaints, exclusions and recruitment).

The responsibility of monitoring and improving educational outcomes lies with the Trust’s professional Academy Improvement Team.


  • To fulfil these functions, the Academy Committee has the following responsibilities:
  • Culture, vision and ethos
  • Personal development and staff and pupil welfare
  • Behaviour and Attendance
  • Extra-Curricular provision
  • Safeguarding
  • Engagement and promotion within local community
  • Staffing, behaviour and complaints panels
  • Senior management recruitment/performance management

Governor Roles

The Academy Committee must appoint Governors to the following roles: Careers Governor, Health & Safety Governor, Safeguarding Governor & SEND Governor. Depending on the school’s size, additional roles should also be assigned; examples include Education Performance Governor, Pupil Premium & Inclusion Governor and Finance Governor.

Safeguarding & Training

Excalibur maintains a strong safeguarding culture and ethos, with all Governors applying for an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, in addition to undertaking mandatory safeguarding and cyber-security training. It is the responsibility of the nominated Safeguarding Governor to ensure this is adhered to and the Trust monitors compliance. Supplementary training to support Governors in their role is also available.

All Governors and Trustees must agree to be bound by the Excalibur Academies Trust Code of Conduct, with annual compulsory recommitment and declaration of business interests.

More information

Further information about the Excalibur’s Academy Committees can be found by visiting: https://www.excalibur.org.uk/governance/join-us/ or contacting the Trust’s Head of Governance Cathryn Poole: [email protected]

Chair of Governors – Mr Chris Waldon  –  (Mr Waldon can be contacted either at the school address or by email

Chitra Bharucha – Governor

After a long NHS career in Medicine as Deputy Director, Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service, and Consultant Clinical Haematologist, Belfast City Hospital, as well as serving on many local, national and international panels and committees, I served in several regulatory roles, specialising in corporate governance.  I also chaired Fitness to Practise Adjudication Panels of the General Medical Council, having served as a Council member.
I have been a non-executive director at many organisations, a Trustee of Marie Curie Cancer Care, a Lay Member of the Review Body for Judicial Complaints, and also a Samaritan volunteer for many years.
I was honoured to be awarded an MBE in 2009 for services to the animal feed industry.

Dana Brown – Governor

I’ve been a parent in Hungerford since 2003 and I’m a parent governor at JOG. I work with businesses and individuals, mainly within the horseracing industry, to promote and reward best practice in employment, wellbeing, diversity and inclusion. Previously I helped to restructure an SME in music retail and restoration with responsibility for strategic planning, recruitment and retention. Everyone deserves the chance to succeed in education and I believe that a balance between aspiration and support is the key to achieving in school, which is why I enjoy being part of the JOG journey.

Nicola Chester – Governor

I have the great privilege of working as Librarian at John O’ Gaunt School and delight in stretching the role of a modern Librarian to the max! I have a degree in English Literature (with some Art and Media training) and have enjoyed a variety of jobs, from working as a groom, to farm work to managing the customer and volunteer services team in a conservation charity’s national headquarters. Prior to Jog, I worked in West Berkshire’s flagship public Library in Newbury. I am also a published writer, author and columnist, writing mostly about nature. Amongst other projects, I currently write for the Newbury Weekly News and The RSPB (where I’ve been a columnist for both for around 16 years) and I am a Country Diarist at The Guardian. As a freelance writer, I also enjoy running creative ‘Wild Writing Workshops’ for all ages and situations and collaborating with others. Having grown up in the Hungerford/ Newbury area, community engagement is very important to me. I am a mother of three children, who are all either at, or have been through Jog. We all greatly appreciate the value of such a good local school where every child is truly known, and inspired and supported to genuinely want to do their best. I am a great believer in positivity, community and celebrating good news. I also believe I have the best (and complementary) job(s) in the world!

Peter Darby – Governor

I was delighted to be appointed as a community governor of John O’Gaunt School in 2023. I recently retired from BP PLC after 36 years in various managerial roles. For 12 of those years I lived and worked in Continental Europe, Latin America, and the USA. I am a physicist by training and also have an MSc in Financial Management. I have lived in Marlborough since 2011 and in the area since 2009. I am married with a teenage daughter. From personal experience, I believe a good education is the foundation of success in life and I am passionate about ensuring all pupils have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Sophie MacFarlane-Smith – Vice Chair

I have lived in Hungerford for 20 years and I joined the governing body at John O’Gaunt in 2021 as a Parent Governor having previously been a Governor at Hungerford Primary School whilst my two children were there.  I am pleased to say that both my children are now, happily, students at John O’Gaunt and I want to support the school and all the children to succeed in whatever way is right for them.  My background is in science and engineering, (I have an MSc in nuclear reactor physics) and I have worked for over 25years for a British engineering company delivering international defence, marine and energy projects. My current job is leading the export of the UK’s new nuclear power plant technology globally.  I am passionate about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and inspiring children (and particularly girls) to get involved in those subjects at all levels.  My own experience of secondary education was in a school very similar to JoG and I am very pleased to have the opportunity, as part of the governing body, to share my experiences of education and work and help support all our children.

Mike Morecroft – Governor

I’ve been a parent governor since 2017 and have two children, the eldest who left John O’Gaunt to go on to sixth form and youngest who is still at JOG. Professionally, I am an environmental scientist working for Natural England, the government conservation agency. I have a PhD from Cambridge University and work with various universities and scientific organisations in the UK and internationally. I’ve lived in Hungerford since 2000 and am actively involved in the local community, particularly St. Lawrence’s Church and the Scouts. I’m delighted that my children have been able to go to their local school and, as a governor, I want to support education that is both inclusive and excellent.

Clive Rothwell – Governor

I have been a governor at John O’Gaunt since 2010, initially as a parent governor while my children attended the school. I worked on various committees for a few years and then served as Vice Chair for a year before becoming the Chair of Governors for a number of years. I came to Hungerford in 1998 and my children went through the local Nursery, Primary and Secondary schools and are now enjoying the world of work! I have run my own IT businesses for almost 20 years.

Chris Waldon – Chair of Governors

I am a father of three boys all of which I am proud to say are attending one of the Hungerford schools. I have lived in Hungerford for around 20 years after travelling extensively as a professional engineer in various international secondments. Currently I lead a large engineering team delivering high tech projects and supporting operations proving the viability of a new clean energy source. I originate from deepest darkest Devon and am acutely aware of the pivotal influence my secondary schooling had in developing my personal outlook and providing a launch pad towards achieving my professional aspirations. I am motivated to take an active role in supporting the school to foster the right environment for pupils (and their parents) within the community, enabling them to gain a wider perspective and realise their latent potential.

Debbie Wright – Governor (SEND/Safeguarding)

I have four children and we have lived in Hungerford for several years after moving down from the North.  My two eldest have left John O’Gaunt and are currently in further education after a successful time at the school.  My third has settled in well at John O’Gaunt and my youngest will progress to the school in the near future. I am passionate that all children should have the same high level of education and their full potential be developed according to their specific strengths. I am a local solicitor and I have previously been involved in a number of voluntary roles in the community.


If you are interested in becoming a school governor, or have any questions for the governing body, please contact the Clerk on 01488 682400 or by email.


EAT Governance Board